Archive | November, 2007

Kennedy Campaigns for Clinton

29 Nov

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

IT’S OFFICIAL

As reported in this blog a couple of months ago, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says he stands behind Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in her bid for the Democratic party nomination.

Today, he went even further, giving Clinton his formal endorsement:

“Hillary Clinton has the strength and experience to bring the war in Iraq to an end and reverse the potentially devastating effects of global warming,” Kennedy said in a statement released by Clinton’s campaign.

“I watched proudly as Hillary won over New Yorkers across the state in her race for the Senate seat my father once held,” he said. “Since then, she’s been re-elected in a landslide victory and proven that she is ready to lead this nation from her first day in office. Hillary will inspire the real change America needs.”

Clinton said she was honored to have his support and counsel.”Bobby has worked tirelessly to protect our environment and raise awareness about the dangers of global warming and pollution,” she said in a statement.

Bobby certainly wasted no time in hitting the campaign trail to help Hillary in Iowa, according to QuadCities Online:

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., kicked off his first official day of stumping for presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton Thursday. Mr. Kennedy shared his reasons for why he’s supporting the New York junior senator and met with volunteers at the Davenport Field Office for Hillary Clinton for President.

He called the 2008 election the most critical presidential election of his lifetime and pointed to Sen. Clinton as the Democrat needed to turn it all around.

Mr. Kennedy said he was inspired to back Sen. Clinton because of her strong performance in New York, where she was first elected senator in 2000 and again in 2006 in a landslide victory against Republican candidate John Spencer. “I would hope my experience combined with my personal relationship and knowledge of her record in New York state be one of the things that will help persuade people who may be on the fence that shes’ a candidate worth voting for,” he said.

Prior to officially endorsing her, Mr. Kennedy said he has helped out the campaign in about 20 states through a speaking tour he does. He said now was the time to formally endorse a candidate as the Iowa Caucuses are only five weeks away.

“The largest issues facing our country today are energy and the environment and Hillary’s got the strongest plans for dealing with those things,” said Mr. Kennedy, a 25-year environmental advocate himself. Mr. Kennedy pointed to Sen. Clinton’s goals of getting Americans off all oil – not just foreign oil – and rescuing them from “our carbon addiction.”

From his Davenport stop, Mr. Kennedy headed to Dubuque to continue his series of appearances in eastern Iowa for Sen. Clinton. Although the environmental platform and advocacy sometimes seems contrary to the demands of blazing the campaign trail, Mr. Kennedy said this is not the case.

“You can go out and buy a Prius but its not going to change the world,” he said. “What’s going to change the world is if we have a law that you can’t build a car or sell a car unless its gets 40 miles per gallon.”

Mr. Kennedy said criticizing politicians touting environmental concerns like Al Gore on how they heat their homes, fly in private jets or what type of car they drive, is simply a distraction used by the industry. “(Al Gore) may have burned a lot of fuel, but he changed a lot of minds and he’s now changed the political system, the political framework and dialogue in our country,” he said. “At some point because of him all of us are going to be driving more efficient cars, because of the fuel he used to get from place to place, every American is going to be driving more fuel efficient cars and living more efficiently,” he said. “So I’d say that it was that fuel that was probably the best spent fuel that we could possibly have.”  

Well, guess I’d better stop there, as I just noticed the word count was exactly 666 words. Hmmm…coincidence or an omen? Frankly, I’m too spooked to continue.

Better to just throw the floor open to your comments at this point, my fellow Kennedy supporters. What do you think? Is the RFK/Clinton alliance a match made in heaven? Or has he just made a deal with the devil?

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RFK Jr. Profiles an American Hero in New Book

27 Nov

RFK Jr. on the Today Show, Nov. 19, 2007

(PHOTO CAPTION: RFK Jr. on The Today Show, Nov. 19, 2007)

KENNEDY WRITES A PROFILE IN COURAGE

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s latest book is a biography of Joshua Chamberlain — musician, linguist, professor, farmer, husband, father, soldier, and American patriot.

He’s currently making the rounds of talk shows to promote American Heroes: Joshua Chamberlain and the American Civil War, appearing on NBC’s Today last week (see video link at the bottom of this article).

Kennedy also talked about the new book at some length on his weekly Air America broadcast, explaining why he felt so drawn to the story of Joshua Chamberlain’s life and what compelled him to write this book at this point in our nation’s history. Listen to the interview here. ( Bobby’s segment is in the first hour, about 40 minutes into the program.)

This book is Kennedy’s second in a series of books written for children. (His first was 2005’s St. Francis of Assisi – A Life of Joy) The inspiration for the initial American Heroes book is also rooted close to home, drawn from his childhood memories as well as his role as a father. From an early age, Kennedy was well-versed in war lore, in large part due to his family’s military service and their keen interest in the nation’s struggles to establish the freedoms we enjoy today.

“My Uncle Jack was fascinated with these ideals, particularly courage,” Kennedy told Publisher’s Weekly. “He was a war hero, as was my Uncle Joe. My father also served in World War II, though it was at the end. But he was a great military historian. Nearly every night at dinner he’d tell us of the great battles that changed history. Those stories absolutely entranced me as a child.” 

The tradition of sharing these stories, though perhaps in a different manner, is now being passed to Kennedy’s own children. “I have six kids,” he noted. “We read every night and the thing that seems to grab my kids’ interest the most is history—stories of historical figures. There is no story that you could invent that would be as exciting as the real-life adventures of Joshua Chamberlain.”

Kennedy’s son Conor discovered this first hand when he began researching the Civil War hero for a fifth-grade research paper. “As I watched Conor’s fascination, it occurred to me that Chamberlain’s story would make a great children’s book,” Kennedy said. “Chamberlain was acting totally on principle. He was vehemently opposed to slavery and he walked away from a family he loved and a job he loved to defend the highest ideals of our country.”

Via these illustrated biographies, aimed at readers age 8-up, Kennedy hopes that kids will get excited about history as well as inform families of where history has brought us thus far. “A parent’s objective is to fill their children’s minds with noble thoughts,” he said. “The best way to do that is through stories of real people acting heroically. It’s important for Americans to remind ourselves of the ideals that made our country great.”

And so, with that in mind, we hope you will enjoy the following excerpt from Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s new book, American Heroes: Joshua Chamberlain and the American Civil War:

FOREWORD


Sometimes the fate of a nation rests upon the shoulders of a single courageous soul.

One day in July 1863, a young college professor named Joshua Chamberlain and a handful of gallant boys from Maine risked — and in some cases, gave — their lives to hold a few acres of rough, rocky soil on a Pennsylvania hilltop. Their heroic deeds saved our country from destruction. Their legacy is the United States of America, and the courage, character and goodness that make our country a great nation.

Had Chamberlain or his men faltered, even momentarily, during the fight for the Round Tops, our nation would have died at Gettysburg. After that battle, Chamberlain and the men of the 20th Maine buried their dead, side by side, in a single long grave. They memorialized each of their fallen comrades with a plank torn from an ammunition box and inscribed with the soldier’s name. As he completed this grim task, Chamberlain wistfully hoped that generations of Americans who “know us not” would come from afar, “to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them.”

I wrote this book in the hope that our children will put a higher value on America and its freedoms if they understand the high price at which these things were purchased by an earlier generation of our countrymen. The recitation of a glorious history and heroic deeds has the power to imbue us with noble thoughts and summons us to the ideals and courage that make America great.

In their efforts to improve our minds and elevate our souls, my parents encouraged their 11 children to read history and learn about the great heroes of the past. My father, an avid military historian, told us, over dinner, the stories of important battles like Bunker Hill, the Cowpens, and Bull Run. Our family visited the decisive battlefields of the Revolution and the Civil War. On one of these trips, to Gettysburg, we heard the story of the citizen soldier Joshua Chamberlain.

Chamberlain epitomized the best qualities of the American character. He was a hardworking farmer; a poet and a musician; a linguist, writer and theologian. He was educated and idealistic. He was self-reliant, kind, fair and decent. He had character, integrity and manners. He loved America and was willing to sacrifice his life and fortune for our country. His astounding feats of daring in the nation’s time of greatest peril compare with epic deeds of the warriors of ancient times and legend.

The extraordinary thing is how common these virtues were in so many of those who fought in the Civil War, on both sides. Indeed, the Civil War is the story of millions of acts of heartbreaking gallantry. Chamberlain and his contemporaries faced crises far more dire than any known to this generation. More than 620,000 American soldiers died in that conflict, a catastrophe equivalent to the loss of 5.7 million Americans relative to the country’s population today. Our nation faced imminent destruction. Whole cities were besieged and ruined; our countryside was immolated; railroads and roads destroyed. Yet, the Americans fighting for the Union cause did not compromise their principles or their commitment to justice. They never dismissed their vision of a noble and just America as if it were a luxury that we could no longer afford. Their dauntlessness transformed the Civil War from America’s gravest and most tragic episode into our country’s finest hour. Its successful prosecution required great national sacrifice, the guidance of Providence, and extraordinary heroics by thousands of citizens, from President Lincoln to the lowest infantryman. Their efforts saved the Union and abolished slavery, which had torn the moral fiber of our young republic. They helped confirm America as the generous, principled nation we became in our own eyes — and in the eyes of the world. When he spoke of the war, Chamberlain referred to it, in the common parlance of the day, as “the noble cause.” Chamberlain and his soldiers fought the war to preserve not just the solidarity but the virtues of our nation — our idealism, faith, optimism, decency and commitment to justice. The most conspicuous quality of these men was courage.

In the view of earlier American generations, courage was practically synonymous with freedom; fear, after all, was the instrument of tyrants. As Franklin Roosevelt later put it, the greatest enemy of our treasured freedom is “fear itself.” Every once in a while, we Americans need to remind ourselves that we are the land of the free precisely because we are the home of the brave! A nation of great ideals can  be preserved only by sacrifice and courage. I grew up thinking of Americans as the bravest people on earth. Americans, our civics instructors taught us, were guided by principle and willing to sacrifice all to preserve our rights and liberty.

It is the fantastic bravery of a long line of stalwarts like Joshua Chamberlain, and their love of principle, their commitment to ideals, and their willingness to sacrifice, which has defined our people and guided our nation’s destiny. It’s worth considering today how grievously we would dishonor the memory of these gallant heroes if we should ever let America become a nation governed by fear, or if we willingly compromised the rights they gave so much to guarantee.

—Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

 

CONTINUED: Chapter 1: “JUST DO IT!”

Read more from the new book and watch the Today Show interview with RFK Jr. on MSNBC

Buy the book at Amazon.com

Here at RFKin2008.com, we are trying to draft Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to lead a new army of American patriots in a peaceful revolution. But first, we’ve got to put him in the White House where he belongs. Please SIGN THE PETITION to draft Kennedy for President and tell your friends!

Eunice Kennedy Shriver Hospitalized

25 Nov

CNN and the Associated Press report that Bobby’s aunt Eunice was hospitalized in Boston over the Thanksgiving holiday. See full story below: 

(CNN) Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of former President John F. Kennedy and founder of the Special Olympics, is in the hospital, said a spokesman for her daughter, California first lady Maria Shriver.

art.shriver.gi.jpg

(PHOTO FROM GETTY IMAGES/CNN: Eunice Kennedy Shriver attends a Special Olympics Torch Run Ceremony at the White House July 26.)

“She has had many health challenges in the past several months, and in every case she has bounced back,” Daniel Zingale said. “I hope and expect it will be the same in this case.”

He would not elaborate on Shriver’s status, saying, “the family’s privacy must be respected.”

However, a spokeswoman for Massachusetts General Hospital said Shriver was in fair condition, according to The Associated Press.

She was admitted on November 18, the AP reported.

Shriver, 86, is also the sister of Senator Edward Kennedy and the late Robert F. Kennedy.

She founded the Special Olympics in 1968 and has received numerous awards for her work with children.

She was hospitalized in October 2005 after suffering a minor stroke and hip fracture.

President John F. Kennedy with his sister Eunice

President John F. Kennedy with his sister Eunice.

 

All of us here at RFKin2008.com wish Eunice Kennedy Shriver a speedy and full recovery. At 86, she is the oldest living Kennedy — and we need her around to keep on fighting the good fight. Get well soon, Eunice!

 

 

 

44 Years Later, JFK’s Words Still Resonate

21 Nov

This week marks 44 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

It is a time when all Americans (even those who were not yet born in 1963) stop to reflect on what our country lost that day — for we lost so much more than more than just a man — and we ponder what role that tragic event played in shaping the world we now find ourselves living in.

While it is important that we pause to remember the past, and to ask these questions about America’s future (he would want us to), let’s not allow ourselves to forget the man Jack Kennedy was. Because it seems that far too often, we focus our attention on his death and the many questions that still remain unanswered. Shouldn’t we instead remember his life?

Since this somber anniversary happens to fall on Thanksgiving this year, it just doesn’t seem appropriate somehow to be mournful. Rather, let us give thanks for all of the good things he brought to this world as a catalyst for change. Let us recall the way he inspired people around the globe; the hope and optimism he brought to the presidency. Let’s celebrate his vision, his strength, his courage, his razor-sharp mind, his grace, charm, and of course, that delightful, sometimes wicked wit.

This would be a perfect time to reach for one of your favorite books on the shelf and immerse yourself in some of his words. Listen to some of his best speeches. Because these things are the legacy he left us. His words will live in history forever and cannot be erased.

Naturally, we all have our own favorite books and speeches of JFK’s; I’ve certainly got a long list of works I find deeply moving and inspiring, but I’ll refrain from making any recommendations here because I feel that how each of us remembers him this week should be a strictly personal choice.

But there is one little tidbit I want to share:

On November 19, 1963, just three days before his death, President Kennedy wrote this message for the rededication ceremonies of the national cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:

“The goals of liberty and freedom, the obligations of keeping ours a government of and for the people are never-ending.”

Just one sentence, but this says it all. Written exactly 44 years ago, these words serve to remind us all that there is still so much work to do. Lest we forget.

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

May 29, 1917- November 22, 1963

 

 

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